They live under your roof, you feed them, you buy them clothes and yet they still come asking you for more money to buy bubble tea and Yeezys... whenever the time is right, it is undoubtedly in everyone's best interest for your teenager to get a job! Here are a few tips for you to help them out:
Identify their strengths and the opportunities around them: While a 15 year may not have any jobs to list as work experience on a resume, there are probably some significant and relevant experiences they have had that are applicable to the kinds of job they are applying for.
It can be hard for them to make those connections sometimes and see their strengths clearly, so you are the BEST person to sit down with your teenager and go through some of their extra curricular activities that may have developed relevant skills. Some examples to think through might be sports teams they have played in that require teamwork, punctuality, the ability to work under pressure and good communication skills - all handy traits for a job in a busy restaurant. If they have served on a student council, they will have gained leadership skills, learnt how to take initiative and how to negotiate.
Another great idea is to think through any work experience they could gain through volunteering. Perhaps your child wants to get a job in fashion retail? They could gain some great experience in visual merchandising and dealing with money at your local op shop! An employer is always going to look more favourably on a resume that has consistent volunteer work over a resume with no work experience at all.
Side note: what a. great excuse for you to be able to tell your teenager how great they are without them shrugging you off and walking away!
Clean up the digital footprint: This can be an interesting conversation with your teenager, but also a really important one!
If you haven’t had a good chat about what your teenager is posting online, then now is as good a time as any to discuss the impact of what we share online and how we can lose control of our images when we post them online. Here are some good questions to ask when thinking about applying for a job:
1. Would you be comfortable with a future employer seeing the kinds of photos you post online (ie. how you are dressed, how you are posing and what you are doing?)
2. Are you proud of the photos you are you tagged in?
3. Would you be comfortable speaking to a future employer in the same way you comment and write captions online? If the answers are no or unsure, then that gives you a pretty good idea of what might need to be taken down, regardless of whether a future employer would google them or not.
For a broader chat around e-safety, the Australian Government have some great resources here.
Pre prepare examples for the interview: Workplaces love to ask for examples of times you have solved a problem, made a mistake or worked in a team.
Sit down with your teenager and help them identify some examples of those kind of scenarios and then get them to practice explaining the example to you. An interviewer will be looking for an example of how they responded and a lesson they learnt. This is a great opportunity for your teenager to demonstrate values of honesty, integrity, taking initiative and teachability.
Practicing them beforehand will mean they won't have to be taken off guard in the moment, especially if they are nervous!
And there you have it! As your teenager’s biggest support, your encouragement and preparation will be a gamechanger for them.
For more inside tips and activities, why not download our ‘Get a Job’ digital workbook’ to work through with your teenager!